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by Danielle Kane | Jun 28, 2019 1:48:51 PM

Hi, I’m
Danielle and I’m a Millennial. I like posting pictures of the food I eat, a
“throwback” song for me is NSYNC’s ‘Bye, Bye, Bye,’ and yes, like the news
tells you about my in-debt generation, I can’t afford to buy a house anytime

If you’ve been
a reader of Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific’s blog page, you may
have caught one of my earlier pieces about generational differences where
I talk more in-depth about how our age impacts our engagement in different work
settings. This time around, I’m here to talk about how our age influences the
scams that target us.

Recently, BBB
was alerted to a scam happening on Snapchat. The scheme: scammers target young
adults – Millennial and Gen Z’ers mostly – and offer them an opportunity to
make money with a “sponsorship” or “advertising opportunity.” They instruct the
person to send money via gift cards. Then, the scammers request account login
information to get on Snapchat and invite that person’s friends to be part of
this “opportunity” and keep the scheme going. The initial victim’s login
information is changed so they can’t get back on and stop it or warn others,
leaving the scammer in control of the account until Snapchat is notified.

BBB has
identified Snapchat scams happening in Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and New
York. While we haven’t received any reports yet of this scam hitting the
northwest, we know these types of scams move fast. The average loss is $50.

As someone
who uses Snapchat, I can see how easy this scam is to execute and why so many
young consumers might fall for it. We live in an age of online influencers.

What is an
influencer? Influencers are users who have established credibility, a large
audience and their own personal brand on social media. They use their brand and
perceived authenticity to influence other users by encouraging them to try or
purchase new products, clothes, tickets, etc. that fit in with current trends
or niche followings.

While I can’t
break down in one blog exactly what it entails to be an influencer, I can
assure you it’s something many users on Instagram and Snapchat aspire to.
Therefore, if a consumer gets a message from someone claiming they can help
with marketing and grow their influence, it’s not far-fetched to assume they’d
take that risk. And, voilà, a new scam is born.

So, for all
my fellow Millennials out there, those younger than me, and maybe even parents
monitoring their children’s social media accounts – realize this is all too
easy and all too common on today’s platforms. There will likely be valid
messages that come through and real branding opportunities that may arise.
That’s the beauty of social media and the new jobs it creates.

But anytime
someone asks for your login information and/or payment via gift card, it’s a
scam. Block that user, delete that message and keep scrolling.

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